Tons of Family Fun in One Place at Merle Hay Mall

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Tons of Family Fun in One Place at Merle Hay Mall

Having children I can understand the issues of getting in and out of the car several times as you look for fun places to play. You have to bundle them up (if it’s a typical Iowa winter), get them situated in the car, then get them in and out again depending on how many stops you make. Wouldn’t it be great if you could spend an entire day somewhere keeping your children busy doing all sorts of fun activities in one spot? You may be surprised, but Merle Hay Mall, located in the Des Moines area, can easily be somewhere you can spend a day running, playing, shopping, eating, and exploring.

Take a look at all the fun options Merle Hay Mall has to offer.

About Merle Hay Mall

For more than 60 years, Merle Hay Mall has been a Des Moines shopping and entertainment destination. Family-owned and operated, Merle Hay Mall focuses on cultivating a family-friendly experience for everyone in the metro area to enjoy. The mall is continually evolving to bring new, popular retail options to their guests as well as entertainment venues, restaurant and fast-food options, and local businesses.

With over 60 stores and restaurants, there is a little something for everyone. From Flix Brewhouse, Old Navy, ULTA, Ross Dress for Less, and Kohl’s + Sephora to GameDay, SmashRoom Iowa, SplatterRoom Iowa, RockTop Boxing, White Rabbit VR, Applebee’s, IHOP, and our Local Eats Food Court, the options are endless. Currently focused on redevelopment, Merle Hay Mall is excited to be bringing CombatLive! Laser Tag, Five Guys, Kids Empire, PetSmart, and the new Des Moines Buccaneers Arena to Merle Hay Mall very soon.


Laser Tag is heading to Merle Hay Mall. CombatLive! is a game center with laser tag that will be opening soon. Keep your eyes on details and the opening date coming soon.

Flix Brewhouse

If you have not been to Flix Brewhouse then you are missing out on the ultimate movie theater experience in Greater Des Moines! Flix is not only a movie theater, but an experience. Enjoy your favorite movie on the big screen while having food and craft beers served to you. They regularly offer special deals on tickets throughout the week and keep an eye out when they have special kids’ movie showings for great deals too.

GameDay & GameDay Lanes

GameDay is a favorite for our family! Great food, atmosphere, and loads of arcade games. Make sure you try their famous pickles! The perfect place for a birthday party, family outing, or even corporate events. If you are looking for even more fun head downstairs to GameDay Lanes. Bowling is a great family activity. They offer tons of open bowling times and are pretty inexpensive. Play a round or two!

Kids Empire

The rumors are true! More than 11,000 square feet of unlimited fun including climbing, slides, and more. No official opening date has been released, but another great reason to play at Merle Hay Mall. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for updated information.

Local Eats Food Court

Grab a quick bite of eat while you are playing and exploring at Merle Hay Mall. The Local Eats Food Court has something for every tastebud including Vietnamese, tamales, barbeque, and more.

The Play Area

This may be obvious. Like most malls, there is a fun play area full of climbing options. If you have smaller children this simple place can provide a couple of hours of fun.

RockTop Boxing

Get your fit on at RockTop Boxing which specializes in boxing and strength training for all ages. They offer classes for ages as little as 5 years. Beginners are always welcome! Try something new and give it a try.

RockTop Boxing, Merle Hay Mall


As with many shopping malls, the focus has changed. Although, Merle Hay Mall offers a ton of entertainment opportunities they still are a shopping center with shopping available such as anchor store Kohl’s, Target, and Ross Dress for Less. In addition, you can shop at Old Navy, Kids Foot Locker, Shoe Carnival, and more.

SmashRoom Iowa and Splatter Room Iowa

Let out some anger or get messy at SmashRoom Iowa and/or Splatter Room Iowa. This is such a fun concept and unique experience for families or even date night! Smash Room is where visitors can break items by throwing them against hard surfaces or destroy items by smashing them with tools. These tools include sledgehammers, baseball bats, or crowbars. Not into the range? Check out the Splatter Room! Paint all the things including canvases, walls, and more. They also offer a glow-in-the-dark option. This is a great idea for a birthday party or even a bridal shower. If you are interested in trying both, they offer various packages and discounted prices.

White Rabbit VR Arcade

Jump into a virtual reality at White Rabbit VR Arcade. They offer VR games for single players or multiple players. Simply walk in and pay for the time you want and have fun!

Frequently Asked Questions

What hours is Merle Hay Mall open?

Merle Hay Mall is open Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday’s Noon to 5:30 p.m. Please note that specific store hours may differ.

Where is Merle Hay Mall located?

Merle Hay Mall is located in the Northwest part of Des Moines at  3800 Merle Hay Road in Des Moines, Iowa.

What is the best way to stay up to date with news of Merle Hay Mall?

Make sure you are following Merle Hay Mall on their Facebook page!


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One thought on “Tons of Family Fun in One Place at Merle Hay Mall

  1. I’ve been looking for family-friendly places. The play area at Merle Hay Mall seems perfect! 🤸‍♂️ Any favorite food spots nearby?

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